A State College business leveraged a $5,000 state grant to go to a trade show – which turned into an eight-figure partnership opportunity with Amazon Web Services in support of their cloud platform, and a seven-figure deal with TASCAM to create a custom product offering based on Videon’s core technology.
Todd Erdley, owner of Videon Central, said if his company hadn’t received the Global Access Program (GAP) funds, he would not have been able to exhibit at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam, Holland.
“We demonstrated a product with Amazon that is now absolutely blowing up. Had we not had the GAP funding, there is no way we would have had the booth presence that has enabled so many new opportunities,” Erdley said.
Videon develops software and designs hardware for audio-visual products worldwide. Through Amazon's Technical Partner Network, Videon and Amazon have met about how to best optimize the first mile of live video streaming. They are working to optimize information flow with a lower cost.
“The intersection will allow Videon and Amazon to reach an entirely new set of customer applications,” Erdley said.
Videon’s deal with TASCAM, a global audio processor company, will augment their product offerings.
“By combining Videon's live-streaming capability with the renowned audio processing of TASCAM, product variants can be enabled that not only stream great video quality, but they also support unparalleled audio quality. The TASCAM and Videon partnership enables these products for 2019 with manufacturing of the products being done by Videon,” Erdley said.
A significant piece of his business’s journey began less than a year ago when he contacted SEDA-Council of Governments’ (SEDA-COG) Export Development Program. Erdley was developing a new product and needed a European distribution channel and wanted to see if there were business opportunities in the United Kingdom and Germany. Noelle Long, director of SEDA-COG’s Export program, worked with PA’s Authorized Trade Representative offices throughout Europe to develop market overviews which showed an opportunity in these areas.
Long later engaged with PA Trade Representatives to identify potential distribution companies, which initiated a series of meetings at a trade show in Amsterdam. To finalize a UK distribution partner, Long assessed the top three companies and gave a recommendation.
As a result, Videon began selling in Europe.
“We went from not selling in Europe to having a distributor and an Original Equipment Manufacturer licensing agreement in a matter of seven months,” Erdley said.
Long described the effort that went into Videon’s success.
“Videon’s recent success is incredible. In most situations, it takes companies upwards of 12 to18 months before realizing the sales impact. The aggressive research, timely follow-up, and commitment to visiting the market all played a significant role in their international success,” Long said.
Erdley started the business in 1997 by providing intellectual property (licensing) to semi-conductor companies in support of DVD players. “Essentially, we wrote the software for the box to do what you want it to do when you press play, etc.,” he said.
With an entrepreneur’s spirit, his success came from picking up the pieces from his last company and restarting with Videon.
“We have a lot of good people. We treat people properly and give them a chance to do what they dream of doing. Our goal is to give people the opportunity to be the person they dream of being,” he said.
Erdley graduated from Penn State in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Penn State in 1992.
The Global Access Program (GAP) assists small to mid-sized Pennsylvania companies to increase export sales. GAP is administered by the Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development (OIBD). The program is funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information about GAP, visit https://dced.pa.gov/programs/global-access-program-gap/.
SEDA-COG’s Export Development team serves the businesses and communities of central Pennsylvania by encouraging and facilitating economic development through growth in world trade. It is funded by the state Department of Community & Economic Development’s Office of International Business Development and Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance.
For more information about SEDA-COG’s Export Development Program, contact Noelle Long at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-524-4491.